Disclaimer: Settings, character and other things you recognise belong to JK Rowling. We just like to play with her ideas.
Andromeda Black wants Ted Tonks.
Black; just the word itself wasn't a pleasant one – to be devoid of any colour, and so they were; all three of them. Bellatrix, with her wild, unruly hair that fell to her belly in black curls and framed dark brown, almost black eyes and a pale white face. And Narcissa; though the complete opposite with her transparent white skin and white-blonde hair that fell straight, neat as a pin, was still devoid of any colour; including her light gray eyes that saw straight through your lies. And then she came, with her dark brown hair and dark brown eyes – almost no colour, yet still more than her sisters. But still a Black, always a Black.
Because even if you were physically colourful; Blacks never had a colourful personality, so it changed nothing. One rarely saw Narcissa smile, the apathetic ice-queen and one certainly never saw Bellatrix with anything brighter than a smirk. Of course, one could sometimes see her smiling, if one looked, but that was disregarded because she was a Black; no one ever expected her to smile, and so when she did, they were secret, kept for her private moments. Besides, one never really looked anyway.
Sometimes, when he was around, he saw her smile. He made her smile, too, when she stopped to talk to him. But that wasn't often, only when she was alone and he walked by, or when her sisters weren't around. Even he knew that to come to her when her sisters were there was asking for trouble. She came to realize that he was her colour; he was her escape from the gray and white lifestyle that fate had dealt her. His hair was only a shade lighter than hers, but his eyes – a deep, piercing blue – drew her to him like no other.
Not that it – he – mattered. Besides for a few laughs, he was off-limits, a desire that she could not grasp, out of reach. He may have been a Tonks, but she was still a Black, and Blacks had rules, limits – standards. It may have been different, had he been different, had he been pure, but he was not. He was simply a Mudblood, filth.
But how could filth feel so right when he held her hand, or shared his latest joke?
He made her question her rules, limits and standards. He made her question being a Black. Now, when she looked at Narcissa, sneering at some Hufflepuff first year, she wasn't as distant from it as she'd always been. Now, when she saw Bellatrix smacking someone, her heart ached with every cry the poor student had omitted. He made her question herself.
Once, when she was little, she asked her mother what a Mudblood was; her mother had laughed, saying they were nothing, simply there for Pureblood entertainment or when a Pureblood needing something done. And she had accepted that, because that was how Blacks did things; someone higher up on the hierarchy said something, and they accepted it. Narcissa and Bellatrix had always been able to do it, and so had she, up until recently. Up until she met him and he made her question everything. Now, suddenly, her mother's answer wasn't nearly as sufficient. Now, suddenly, she found she couldn't just accept the way Mudbloods were treated.
Being a Black, she decided, was a lonely thing. Of course when you're a Black, you're never alone, not with all the respect – she sneers at this word, even till this day – the name garners. But loneliness is a funny thing; you can be lonely in a crowd of people, surrounded by your family, in the midst of a party – you don't get a choice where or when you get to be lonely at. Of course, she'd been able to hold off the loneliness, push that dull ache to the back of her heart, along with her questions (because questions were bad things, and more oft than not, you ended up in trouble when asking too many questions) and her feelings.
It had always been hardest during the holidays, pushing the ache away, because the holidays were when she saw more and more people laughing, hugging, smiling, joking. Christmases at the Black mansion were one and the same – she got up, ate an extravagant meal, opened the presents that she never wanted but always got, and then everyone went about their business as usual. No laughter, no hugging, no smiling and most certainly no jokes. Jokes were for filth, her mother had once said, jokes were for people with nothing better to do with their lives, and she, as a Black, always had something better to do.
She never wanted anything for Christmas, never asked for anything, because she was a good little girl. She was a good little Black. Why bother asking for something when you know you won't get it? Her mother would never buy those orange knee-socks, or that phonogram, or that Muggle rugby poster she was always fascinated with – it never moved, never! Why bother wanting something she was not allowed to have? And so, over the years, she had stopped wanting, had just accepted that, as a Black, she was better than presents, and jokes, and hugs.
But accepting had never been her strong point, even before he broke her ability to do even that, and so the loneliness, the want, came back, strong as ever, on the holidays. She learned to stay away from crowd-gathering spots as the holidays drew near – eventually, she'd stop going to the library and simply study in her room. Eventually, even the Great Hall became a wrongful place to go to, and she ate either before or after she knew the crowds would start to file in.
And as she sat there, now only two weeks before Christmas, on the lake, watching one couple skate across the ice, her heart ached, and she was glad that there was only one couple tonight. Footsteps alerted her to the sound of another person, and she calmly said, knowing it was Bellatrix, "No, I won't tell you what Billy Connoly's mother's blood status is."
"Oh, and here I was simply dying to know." Her heart stopped at the sound of the familiar male voice, and she looked up into those eyes she'd come to love so much. Those lips of hers – those traitorous lips – upturned and she blushed; colour, again. She marvelled at the fact that loneliness was a funny thing, because as he sat down, she felt the weight upon her heart ease, the loneliness gone.
Of course, it always happened around him, and she was thankful for it. Now, she didn't mind that the couple skating on the ice could look so happy; now, she didn't mind that, as she thought this, her baby sister Narcissa was probably snogging the face off of someone in her year. None of that mattered, except that he was there, and the weight was not.
She always thought it funny, this odd ability of his. The ability to make her feel better, no matter the situation. It was something she'd always wished she could do alone, so that when the time came for her to leave Hogwarts, she wouldn't be so dependant on him. He was like her drug, her ecstasy, and she couldn't get enough.
And suddenly, just like that, she knew what she wanted. She glanced down at her hand, her fingertips barely grazing his, and she knew that she wanted him. Dear Merlin, she mentally whispered, her heart constricting, all I want for Christmas is Ted Tonks… and those knee-socks.
A/N: Yet another of my Carrie moments. I know that Bellatrix, Andromeda and Narcissa aren't in the same year, but I don't know the exact differences in age or which one came first. And I'm sick again, which means I'm on meds (-sigh- yet again…) so my brain can't concentrate long enough to calculate it up. So here, they aren't all in the same year, but they are at school at the same time... does that make sense? And I don't know where to look and see if Ted is a Muggleborn or simply a Muggle, straight up. –sigh- so many issues with this oneshot… I, for one, thought it came out way too cheesy. But I don't dislike it enough to change it, and it looks like, for once, I'll have this in on time. Or even a tad early, so that prospect is exciting. Merry Christmas (in advance), everyone!
Staff A/N: This is the new Reviews Lounge forum project, where each author will write a different oneshot about a different canon character and what they want for Christmas. We're hoping for a lot of diversity in the responses. So, Merry Christmas everyone, and please review, because all reviews are forwarded to the authors of the chapters.